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3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Winter operations pose a unique hazard or risk for airports and between winter operation vehicles and aircraft at because snow removal vehicles and equipment are authorized airports without an operating ATCT. to conduct operations on the movement areas of an airport, Winter operational protocols at airports, such as closing including active runways. Often, limited visibility caused by of runways, avoiding encroachment of auxiliary runways blowing or piled snow hampers the ability of vehicle operators or taxiways, conducting winter operations between air- to see and avoid aircraft or other vehicles. Reduced visibility craft operations, and assuring that all winter operation also decreases the advantage of having an air traffic control vehicles are clear of a runway or a particular area. tower (ATCT), since tower personnel cannot see exactly Human performance factors that affect the SA of person- where vehicles or aircraft are positioned, unless the ATCT nel while conducting winter operations, such as fatigue, has new technology to assist the controller. Otherwise, com- sense of urgency in operations, distractions in the cabin munication protocols and recognized standard operating pro- area, and vehicle design features. cedures (SOPs) must be practiced. In either case, technology Equipment and vehicle design factors that affect the SA and SOPs can be negated if a vehicle operator is fatigued, of employees during winter operations and low visibility experiences a loss of situational awareness (SA), or otherwise conditions. makes an error in operation. The training or training systems provided to airfield vehi- cle operators for winter and low visibility operations. This study sought qualitative information on factors affect- The availability of technology and displays or warning ing safe winter operations by airport snow removal and equip- systems that are used, or are being evaluated for use, to ment operators. The information contained in this synthesis prevent vehicleaircraft incidents. can be of value to airport operators in their efforts to provide a safer operating environment when engaged in snow and A concern associated with airport operations that has ice removal operations during conditions of normal and low received increased research and scrutiny over the years has visibility. An emphasis of the study is on preventing or miti- been runway incursions. The FAA has established dedicated gating the factors that lead to runway incursions and aircraft programs and organizational offices comprised of teams, com- and/or vehicle conflicts on the airport. mittees, and individuals to address the safety issue. Although runway incursion efforts have been focused on preventing vehicles from entering or encroaching on an active runway or OBJECTIVE OF SYNTHESIS operational area, snow removal equipment must operate on those same active areas. The problem then becomes how to The objective of this synthesis is to provide a compendium of ensure that such vehicles are off of the movement or opera- existing practices, procedures, training, and systems that air- tional area when an aircraft operation is being conducted. Such port operators use to reduce the risk of vehicleaircraft inci- assurance is especially true when low visibility hampers the dents and incursions during winter operations and periods of ability of air traffic control personnel or vehicle operators from low visibility. A low visibility operation is defined in Advisory seeing aircraft operating on the pavement surfaces where snow Circular 120-57A, Surface Movement Guidance and Control removal operations are in progress. Systems, as the movement of aircraft or vehicles on the air- port's paved surfaces when visibility is reported to be less than 1,200 feet runway visual range (RVR) (1). The synthesis DEFINITION OF INCURSION considered commercial service and general aviation airports that have either a full-time, part-time, or no operating ATCT. A basic understanding of runway incursions and surface inci- dents will help to explain why winter operations are a major Specific areas researched or reviewed under the synthesis safety concern of airports. study were: Runway incursions or surface incidents are a major concern Communication protocols and systems currently in use affecting safe operations of the Nation's airports because they between winter operation vehicles, aircraft, and air traffic present a collision hazard. The NTSB has identified the pre- control facilities (both the ATCT and approach control), vention of runway incursions as one of the "Most Wanted"

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4 safety issues to be addressed in aviation (2). Both the FAA defined as a "surface incident." The FAA definition of a and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) surface incident is have implemented measures to combat and reduce runway incursions and/or surface incidents. Any event where unauthorized or unapproved movement occurs in the movement area that affects or could affect safety of flight (3, p. A-10). Prior to October 2, 2007, a runway incursion was defined by the FAA as The primary difference between the older FAA definition Any occurrence at an airport involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, of runway incursion and the newer ICAO definition is that or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results ICAO defines an incursion to include any unauthorized intru- in a loss of separation with an aircraft taking off, intending to sion onto a runway, regardless of whether a potential conflict take off, landing, or intending to land (3, p. A-9). with an aircraft exists or not. For the FAA, an incident not involving a potential conflict with an aircraft--such as an On October 2, 2007, the FAA announced a change to the unauthorized vehicle crossing a runway while no aircraft are definition of an incursion (4). In standardizing this definition in the vicinity--was previously defined as a "surface inci- worldwide, the FAA adopted the definition used by the ICAO. dent" and not a runway incursion. A comparison of the two Thus, a runway incursion is now defined as categories is identified in Figure 1. Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect pres- Class A or B incursions are considered serious enough to ence of an aircraft, vehicle, or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft have posed a significant risk of collision, while class C or D (5, p. L-1). incursions are classified as not having posed an immediate major threat. Class E is not used in the United States as of yet. The adoption of the ICAO definition will require the For additional assessment purposes, the FAA groups incursion FAA to reclassify certain events that previously have been or incidents events into one of three categories: (1) operational FIGURE 1 Comparison of the old FAA and the new ICAO incursion classifications. (Source: FAA.)